A trip gone wrong makes some right detours.
This September, we’re getting the threequel “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” which takes the family on vacation to their homeland of Greece.” This summer, on a much smaller scale, we have the French comedy “Two Tickets to Greece,” which is about two old friends who reunite in their mid 40s and travel to that country.
I have my reservations towards this movie, because of some of its cynicism, but it actually has a good side to itself that makes it appealing enough for my tastes. It can be sexy when it wants to be, spontaneous when it wants to be, and considerate when it wants to be.
We meet the radiology technician Blandine (Olivia Cote from “My Donkey, My Lover & I”), who struggles to get over her divorce, and her son Benjamin (Alexandre Desrousseaux) finds her old friend Magalie (Laure Calamy also from “My Donkey, My Lover & I”) on Facebook. They gave up their friendship for personal reasons, and but now, Magalie is happier to see her old friend again. It’s sort of opposite magnets between them, as Blandine is more focused on logistics and responsibility, while Magalie is loud and fun-loving.
Blandie was originally supposed to go on a trip with Benjamin to the Greek island of Amoros, but he cancels, and arranges for Magalie to travel with her instead. Especially since they’ve dreamed of traveling there, because it’s where Luc Besson’s “The Big Blue” was filmed.
But various circumstances set these two traveling to different islands. One of them has like one motel, and the other introduces us to Magalie’s friend Bijou (Kristen Scott Thomas), who lives with her Greek boyfriend Dimitris (Panos Koronis), and underneath her colorful nature, she worries about being diagnosed with breast cancer again. Lucky for her, Blandine is the right person to check to see if she needs to see a doctor soon.
Three years ago, I was mixed on “Half Brothers,” which was about a disgruntled Mexican aviation executive who meets his goofy, American half brother, and they go on a scavenger hunt to find out why the former’s father couldn’t return to him. That film had a silly sense of humor that tickled me, but the same old complaints about the father leaving their child for a good reason (one the child can’t understand) got really exhausting to me.
In “Two Tickets to Greece,” it’s a little like that between Blandine and Magalie, but less whiny and more lively. I like the way Magalie stands around her hotel room naked, while Blandie is still in clothes on, and I like the way they deal with goats blocking their motel room. But it’s not without their vulnerabilities, as we eventually see why they went their separate ways in their youth.
I’ve grown weary of Blandine’s cynicisms, but the movie manages to be likable, thanks to the chemistry between Cote and Calamy, the gorgeously filmed locations of the Greek islands, and the right intentions. You’ll have to see how “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” plays out when it comes to theaters, but for now, if you do have a local art house theater in your area, then give “Two Tickets to Greece” a go. It’s not bad.
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This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes.